The Leipper Management Group

Executive Director Services for Associations

The association executive director (ED) is a person who knows not only association business but also the business of the association mission. Because of this knowledge, the ED can provide decision support and be delegated other executive responsibilities in association governance. When an association retains ED services the role of the directors, trustees, and officers become less hands-on and emphasizes oversight and policy formation.

Fiscal Agent

As a fiscal agent, the ED prepares budgets, requests for proposals, and other fiscal and planning documents as needed for the operation of the association. The ED will also see that proper financial policies and procedures are defined for the association and insure that they are properly implemented. An ED may also provide fundraising support and supervision including some grant writing or other proposal preparation.

Decision support

The ED will generally attend all meetings to assist the president with the orders of business and effective procedure; assist the secretary with the recording of information necessary for the minutes and the wording of motions; and assist the treasurer in the presentation of reports describing the financial status of the association.

In order to provide effective decision support, the ED must be kept informed of all considerations of the Board and its committees.


The ED supervises all personnel performing services for association activities and operations. These personnel may include hired staff, independent contractors, volunteers, or even directors and officers providing services beyond the scope of their governance duties. The ED has selection and discipline authority as a part of this supervision.

Community representation

The ED may represent the association in the community and communicate the mission, goals, and other association aspects as appropriate. This representation may include speaking at meetings, participation in community activities or other associations, and response to any communications addressed to the association.

Mission awareness

The ED must be knowledgeable about the association's mission and purpose and its professional environment. Towards this end, the ED will need to be supported in attending conventions and meetings of sister or parent or related societies and must have a budget for training that includes subscriptions to professional literature as appropriate.

Project management

The ED assists in the development of the specifications for needed services and in the project management designs for association events and activities. The ED also supervises the selection of contractors and individuals to get the job done and manages the project to assure that it is done correctly within budget and time constraints.

Additional information for association leaders

What we don't do - we respect the expertise, experience, and certification of professionals in other fields and suggest that your association form partnerships to cover specialized needs.

The Leipper Management Group Leader's Guide - About the business of running an association.

The Leipper Management Group Director's and Officer's Orientation Guide - What are the responsibilities and duties of association officers and directors.

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copyright 2002 Leipper Management Group. All rights reserved Please address comments or questions to Last updated 10/11/2003